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League of Legends Build Guide Author Kirluu

Malphite - Maintaining Solid Order

Kirluu Last updated on April 3, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #10 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Hello everyone !

Here is my guide about Malphite, the Shard of the Monolith.
I will be sure to go through every choice I have made in the build above, and attempt to make you understand the choices that I make in this build.

Also, I hope for you to have success with this build, like I have had ! ;)

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Summoner Spells

Basically, your teammates will love you for bringing this spell. As long as you remember to use it, that is. This is generally a nice spell for any tank to carry around, and can make enemies regret that they attempted to towerdive. Also, it can be used if enemies are attempting to tank tower, and take it down quickly. Using it when the tower is almost dead, will blow their minds.

Another really usefull spell for Malphite, which will help you be at the place you're needed the most. Also, if you end up solo laning, you can get a free hometrip from time to time, or push and consider if mid or bottom needs your help. Basically you will want to keep an eye on your other lanes, and basically scout for teammates in need of assistance. If both your teammates on a lane are low, you should teleport there ASAP, and allow them a recall, stay at the lane untill they return, and then recall, returning to your own lane afterwards.

Alternative Summoner Spells:

Heal is useable for Malphite. This will of course mean that you should put a point in the Mender's Faith Mastery, in order to be able to heal you and your allies a lot more often. This way, the Heal spell becomes less self-centered. While Heal is an alternative, it just isn't as usefull as Teleport or Fortify, though.

Clarity is another spell, that is very, very viable for Malphite. It can be both self-centered and team-supporting. By putting a point in the Insight Mastery, instead of Greed , you can grant as much mana to your allies as you grant yourself. Clarity is a viable spell for Malphite, because, if he is solo-laning, and low on mana, the enemy will ultimately believe that he can't touch them. At this point, you can grant yourself mana, and initiate a gank with your jungler right away, with the enemy being completely confused from it all happening in just an instant. Also, in teamfights, if both you and a teammate(at least) is low on mana you can use this and thus be able to stay in the fight for longer. This is a spell that I sometimes like to choose instead of Fortify if I have allies that are also very dependant on mana.

Another viable option for Malphite. Ghost enables Malphite to be a bit more offensive, and can also grant him the ability to get to the aid of an ally faster. Much like the purpose of Teleport, however Ghost is good for getting to any place on the map, where in the case with Teleport, it can only lead you to friendly minions, friendly turrets or wards placed by you or your allies. In that way Ghost might seem better, however I find Teleport to be slightly more usefull, since it can help you defend your teams turrets much more efficiently than Ghost ever will be able to. And more importantly, as said above: It allows you to take the solo lane in case of a Jungler on your team, making solo laning much easier.

I see quite a few going with this Summoner Spell. And indeed it is a good choice, as it can be used to both chase, and make the last hit on a fleeing enemy with Seismic Shard, and it can be used to get away. In my eyes, however, the mix of Fortify and Teleport gives so much more to your team.

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First off, we will look at the Masteries I have chosen.

As you can see, I have chosen to go with a full Defense spec, with the rest put into Utility. The Defense / Ultility spec gives us an advantage for both the Fortify and Teleport Summoner Spells that I have chosen(See: Summoner Spells).

As I have no intension of dodging any attacks as Malphite, I have chosen to completely avoid Evasion and Nimbleness . I see others putting Evasion runes, and the Nimbleness Mastery, and I ask myself; why? In this build I focus on being a good tank for my team. Therefore I prefer taking Harden Skin instead of this, in order to be able to take more damage. Also, in those rare cases you might have to tank minions for your ally, or basically just to be able to do so in lane, in case you have to push quickly, you can easilier tank them, taking a bit less damage with help from the two points in Defensive Mastery .

Later I choose to add a point to Reinforce , to improve Fortify's usefullness, and spare one point in Ardor , seeing as it doesn't really help much with tanking, however I do take some spec into it to finally unlock Tenacity .

As already mentioned, I choose to take one point in Spatial Accuracy , in order to improve your Teleport Summoner Spell just slightly.(See: Summoner Spells)

Aside from this, I've chosen to take 3 points in Good Hands , firstly, because, as a tank, you need to help your teammates out in the best way you can. So if you die, you want to be back out there again as soon as possible. Also, I simply, in general, find it to be much more usefull than Perserverence.
After this I choose to take a full 4 points in Awareness . If you end up having to solo lane, in case you have either a jungler or a leaver, which you should always offer for your team, you get that extra little bit of exp to level extra fast.
As the final thing, I chose Greed , seeing as you shouldn't be the one farming the most on your lane(You should leave this to your lanemate, so that they will hopefully be able to get some nice early items, and do a good job for the team), and this mastery will at least ensure you a slight profit throughout the game.

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Even though there is not much to say about these runes, as they are pretty standard for tanking, I will try to make an explaination for all of them, and below each of them give an example of an Alternative.

Greater Mark of Warding:
These Marks will help your early game, and will allow you to take a lot of the more dangerous early game skill shots a lot better. An example of this could be Nidalee's Javelin Toss, which elsewhat can hit really hard on the right distance.
If you're laning with a partner, you can, with these, also allow yourself to eat Ability Power-based skills shots FOR your teammate. (Remember; It's always better that you get caught and die, than your teammate dying from a killing skill shot)

Alternative: Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Grants some penetration for your 3 damaging skills (magic damage)

Greater Seal of Resilience:
These, like the Marks, help you, mainly, in early game, but in this case, it is more of a protection against heavy physical dps'ers and strong physical skill shots. There isn't much more to say about these runes, other than the obvious fact that they let you take some more damage early game.
Alternative: Greater Seal of Vitality - Grants you some Health as you level up. This can be efficient at around mid game, while it alltogether at late game grants you a decent amount of extra hp.

Greater Glyph of Shielding:
These Glyphs help your Magic Resist keep up along the game, as Malphite's base MR doesn't scale per level by it self. These Glyphs completely make up for this, and thus keeps your Magic Resist at a decent level throughout the entire leveling phase.
Alternative: Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Will grant more early game Magic Resist than the Marks will, however this goes by the expense of your Magic Resist not keeping up throughout the game.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude:
These Quints, even after the nerf, provide you with quite a decent amount of base HP early game, and along with your points in Veteran's Scars , your early game HP will be fearfull, even without any items.
Alternative: Greater Quintessence of Armor - Will grant you quite a pack of extra early game Armor, which will, together with Greater Marks of Insight, make your Ground Slam quite a bit stronger.

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Skill Explaination

Now I will list all of Malphite's skills along with an explaination of their functions.

Granite Shield
This Passive skill, of Malphite's is really one of the most beautifull things about him. It is really amazing for laning, but also gives you the capability of eating skill shots in the beginning of teamfights.

Seismic Shard
Seismic Shard is your main harrassing skill. This is, in case you are laning with a teammate, what you should mainly use during laning phase.
This skill does however also have a second function. If you are solo laning(And thus have a jungler on your team), you will want to use this skill one the enemy you want to focus with your jungler who will typically be ganking from the riverbrush. This is mainly because it is your only real ranged skill, but even more for the reason that it not only slows your opponent, but also grants you speed to catch the opponent, after using Seismic Shard. This is also it's main purpose when laning with one of your teammates, in order for you and your laning partner to catch the target. The increased slow / level is the reason that this is the skill that you will be leveling up to lvl 5 first.

Brutal Strikes
A strong skill, once leveled up, however early on, it is simply not as usefull as Malphite's other skills, Seismic Shard and Ground Slam.
The greatest thing about Brutal Strikes is definitely the increase of his Armor. This effect makes it a good thing to use in teamfights when being focused, and is also great to use just before Ground Slam in order to add that 40% Armor in extra damage.

Ground Slam
This is the first of your skills to level, mostly due to the reason that it scales with armor, and it thus becomes your strongest damaging skill at lvl 1. This fact that it scales with Armor is the reason why it is basically Tank Malphite's strongest skill. As you can see in the Item Section in the build, I build an early Chain Vest, in order to give this skill more power. Dealing damage as a tank is not a bad thing: Remember that.

Unstoppable Force
Malphite's Ultimate. The purpose of this skill is to hit as many enemies as possible, or, if the enemy is in possession of a fed/strong carry, to wipe out the carry before they have a chance to escape. The beauty of this skill, is mostly it's capability to get into a teamfight where your team might at first slowly be dominated, however this skill has the ability to turn the tides completely, and start a very dangerous attack. You jumping the enemies, will instinctively make them give you some attention, which is the best case scenario for you and your team, since your teammates will thus be capable of placing their CC on the enemies, either having the enemy retreat, or attempt to take you all down. This is a lot better, than getting killed one by one, obviously. You should always be on the lookout for a good chance to do your Ultimate. Don't use it on a single person on the lane, who is being aggressive, as, even with getting the kill, this would be a waste, unless it is their strongest carry on the team, in which case you should first attempt to catch them with Seismic Shard, and if they can't use Flash or anything else, you can Ulti the carry, as long as your team is there to back you up.

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Skill Sequence

Time to explain the order of which you should use your skills in a bunch of different situations:

Both teams in mid lane, with you in front of your team

Alright, the scenario is, as described above, one where both teams, or at least the most of both teams are at the same spot, sort of harrassing back and forth. This scenario can begin with or without you. If you are present, you should just either hit about 3 people, and slow them as much as possible, following the combination of skills shown above(Using Brutal Strikes before Ground Slam for extra damage), and then just use QWE as it fits into the fight. If you are not present, you should attempt to do your ulti either from the side brush(If the teamfight is at mid), or if your team is slightly pushed back, attempt to jump over the wall from your own Wraiths camp. This is a secure way for a hit, since the enemy can't know when you will jump at them. When you are right there in front of them, they can do evasive moves, or Flash away when you use your ulti, and thus, it is a lot smarter to attack from where they cannot see you.

Laning Phase - Attempt to attack with your teammate (Pre lvl 6)

Alright... This scenario is the typical pushing back and forth in the laning phase, however take notice that you do, in this scenario not have ulti yet, thus the "Pre lvl 6" part. You start off with Seismic Shard in order to gain yourself some movement speed. If you can get to your enemy, use Brutal Strikes and Ground Slam right away, when they are in range. Here, one of two things will happen: 1. They'll pull back, thus you start over with your cycle. 2. They attack you or your teammate.(Preferably you), and you then rely on Brutal Strikes which increases your Armor that little bit, and also increases your attack damage - Try to land some autohits, while ensuring your teammate isn't being focused. If you are losing the fight, attempt to draw back always ensuring your teammate's survival in front of your own. Obviously, if your teammate is being stupid, and taking unnecessary hits, there isn't really much you can do about it, aside from trying to force the enemy to retreat.

Laning Phase - Attempt to attack with your teammate (Post lvl 6)

Basically, the main reason that you want to use Seismic Shard first, is for the mere reason of Flash. You really don't want your enemy to predict your Ultimate, and avoid it with Flash or just an evasive maneuver. As your laning presence should be very great, and your laning opponents should know when you hit lvl 6 and have your Ultimate at your service. This means you should occassionally use your Seismic Shard to harrass, and ultimately you will want to be sure that your opponent either doesn't have Flash at all, or have it on cooldown, by making them use it, because they think you will use Ulti all the time. The only way you can avoid being forced to use the Shard first, is by using Ulti from the Brush. Here, you will be hated if you miss, be wary of that.

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It gives you Health. It gives you Armor, improving your Ground Slam, and finally it increases your Health Regen by a little bit. These are all perfect increments for Malphite, and especially the increased HP along with your Runes and Masteries will make you seem unbeatable in the eye of the enemy.

Boots of Speed
These are cheap, and you can get them early. If you are dominating, it'll let you help you catch the foe. Some times it is however better to extend the return to base untill you can get a Chain Vest with you along with the Boots of Speed.

Chain Vest
This lovely little amount of Armor will help you a whole lot. It can help you tank the tower considerably early, it will help you shut off physical dps'ers, and will also allow you to tank minions, if necissary. This should be bought on your first home trip along with the Boots of Speed unless it's not going well, in which case you should only buy the Chain Vest. If you can't afford it yet, get Boots of Speed] and some [[Health Potions and one Mana Potion.

Mercury's Treads
These will save you from CC throughout the entire game, thus granting you more mobility than Boots of Swiftness would ever be able to. Also, these boots grant you Magic Resist, which is a good combination with your previously purchased Chain Vest.

Sunfire Cape
This is without a doubt the next thing for you to build. It helps your minion farming, and is especially usefull if you are solo laning. The extra HP grants huge tanking capabilities rather early in the game. Also, you now have a reason to stay close to the squishies when in a fight. While 40 damage doesn't seem like a lot, it is definitely something, when considering that it is 40 damage per second.

Negatron Cloak
Time for some more Magic Resist. This will basically make you a lot tougher versus the enemies' magic based abilities as well as skill shots, and will allow you to eat just that more of these.

Banshee's Veil
This little necklace will give you everything you need. It gives you the decent Magic Resist, grants you decent Health and almost more importantly: Mana, but also gives you the capability to eat as many skill shots as you want at laning phase. (With a 45 second cooldown, well to notice)

Aegis of the Legion
Now that you've gotten some nice HP, and some decent all-around defenses it's time to improve them, while also helping out your team a bit. This item, Aegis of the Legion completely allows us to complete this goal. When building, you'll want to get the Ruby Crystal as the first item, and the second should be depending on your enemies' team, and who you're at the moment of purchase taking the most damage from.

Chain Vest
More Armor! As Malphite we really enjoy Armor. Now, one reason for not gettiing some HP instead is mainly the fact that items like Madred's Bloodrazor exists. This items effect and existance makes Armor worth much more than Health, to put it bluntly.

This lovely little neat mail will help you a lot versus those stronger physical carries on the enemy team. As you know, it returns 30 % of their damage to themselves, which will, if they're not carefull, make squishy physical carries like Ashe and Caitlyn pretty much end up killing themselves.

Guardian Angel
This will make your enemies finally start to fear you for real, if they don't already. This extra "life ensurance" will make your enemies not knowing what to do, which is simply perfect for you. You can CC your enemies hard, and deal great amounts of damage, while they will try to not focus you just because you have a nice little blurry thing around your rock solid body.

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Alternative Builds

As you can imagine, the build at the top of the page is considered to be followed, if you should meet a well balanced team. Possibly with a Support, 2 physical carries and some AP users as well.

Here I will post other suggestions for builds in the case of you encountering either a very heavy physical team, or a very heavy magic based team. Keep in mind that these alternatives are only in the more extreme scenarioes, for example facing a full team of physical punchers, or a full team of AP-bursters.

Heavy Physical Team

Here, the key items are Thornmail and Frozen Heart. Thornmail will help keep the more squishy physical attackers to think twice about their focus, and if your teammates know how to play without getting locked down by these physical attackers, then they won't know what to do at all, since you'll in their eyes allmost be unbeatable following this build. Them not knowing what to do, might lead you to some easy ganks with your teammates.
Examples of heavy physical dps'ers:
Tryndamere, Warwick, Master Yi, Ashe, Twisted Fate, etc.

Heavy Magic-based Team

The key items in this alternative are basically Banshee's Veil, Quicksilver Sash(Late game) and Force of Nature. They all give you great amounts of Magic Resist, however the main reason that Banshee's and Quicksilver are so important is because usually when facing a full AP-based team, you'll find that they have right about plenty of CC, consisting of stuns, crazy slows, etc. You'll, even as the tank, want to be able to escape these things.
Examples on heavy CC'ers using AP:
Karthus, Veigar, Malzahar, Anivia, Annie, etc.

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To sum things up;

By following my guide and my build, Malphite will be a true team player. This is something your teammates will notice as soon as they see your choice of summoner spells, but then there are also the small things, like the masteries, and hopefully the way you choose to play Malphite - Like a tank - which they might not really take note of. You being open for going solo lane, will help make things easier for your teammates, even though it limits your all-map appearance, untill teamfights begin to fold out.
The items you choose to build, will keep you strong against any foes throughout the entire game. The decently high amount of HP( Sunfire Cape and Banshee's Veil) will also help you a lot, and by your high Magic Resist, things like Madred's Bloodrazor won't be having that great effect as they could have had.